IGA defines scope and timeline of EMPHASIS implementation phase
During the 3rd meeting of the Interim General Assembly (IGA) on 9 November 2020, important decisions were made regarding the scope and timeline of the EMPHASIS implementation phase including the establishment of a new association, and a Chair and Vice-Chair were elected.
The preparation of EMPHASIS is carried out within the framework of the EU-funded project EMPHASIS-PREP, which has just been extended for six months until the end of June 2021. The implementation phase will bridge the preparatory phase of EMPHASIS to the point of full operation.
The IGA has now decided that this intermediate phase will run from January to December 2021 and that during this time the long-term legal framework of EMPHASIS will be developed, the business plan will be finalised and demand-driven pilot services will be provided to the community before going into operation with a full set of services. The board has also decided to set up an association that will support EMPHASIS’ activities during the implementation phase. The IGA also agreed on a cost coverage sharing model among the IGA member countries.
Astrid Willener from the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), Switzerland, has been elected Chair of the EMPHASIS Interim General Assembly (IGA). Oliver Payne from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, UK, will serve as Vice-Chair. The IGA acts as main decision-making body on all strategic aspects with high-level importance for the future of EMPHASIS.
The IGA now consists of eleven member countries that have officially signed a LoI and declared their intention of moving EMPHASIS towards operation: Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Serbia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom – with Portugal having joined most recently. EMPHASIS aims to integrate all European countries, and thus the IGA is open for participation of all further European countries willing to work towards its setup. The next IGA meeting is planned for March 2021.